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Oral history interview with James Stoddard. Interview conducted by Andrew D. Ortiz in Orlando, Florida on June 14, 2017.


0:26 Birthplace, growing up; 1:13 Parent's occupation, family; 2:22 Childhood, early education; 3:21 Education before entering the service, knowing to join in high school; 4:21 Influences to join the military, September 11, 2001, talking to recruiters; 6:22 ASVAT, choosing his MOS; 7:33 Delayed entry program, prepping for boot camp; 8:20 Family in the military; 10:36 Parent's reaction to joining the military; 13:10 Leaving for Parris Island, brothers reaction, trip to boot camp; 16:42 Arriving at boot camp, what to expect, first interaction with Drill Instructor; 18:51 Recruiting process and athletic background helped in boot camp; 21:30 Mindset of boot camp, adjusting to military life, phases of boot camp; 24:43 Realization of military life, beginnings of boot camp/introduction; 27:22 Legend of 3rd Battalion, bunk mate, not to be noticed by Dis; 29:19 First time being singled out, Senior DI's Office; 33:41 DIs at boot camp, losing his gear, DIs after boot camp; 38:05 The Crucible, EGA ceremony, chow and the Warrior's Breakfast; 45:10 Senor DI in charge one night, moment in the Crucible; 48:02 Earning the title Marine & Graduation, fellow Marine during Graduation; 53:55 Recruiting, Advance Training, driving up to Camp Geiger with Dad; 57:08 Combat Training, getting to next assignment early and Intel school; 1:00:24 Enjoying his training/education, news of unit change, call from dad; 1:04:02 Intelligence Analysis training, identifying Russian made weapons; 1:07:00 Culture studies, country brief on Syria, training helped with school; 1:08:10 Stationed in San Diego, orders to go to Japan, attached to a squadron; 1:13:05 First time far away from home, Thailand; 1:15:40 Back to Japan, then Alaska, spending time with parents, back to Japan; 1:17:24 Sent to South Korean MAG, missing out on medal; 1:18:45 Secretive assignment, back to Japan then San Diego, surge to Iraq; 1:19:50 Supposed to go to Australia twice, back to South Korea, DMZ, Okinawa; 1:20:37 NCO, back to San Diego, sent to Iraq and assignment, working space; 1:23:15 Assigned to Miami, Marine Corp Forces South, assignments; 1:24:07 Training operations, teaching Intelligence, dating his wife; 1:25:27 Stationed in South Carolina, assignment; 1:26:12 Medical separation, filling a gap in a squadron, got married; 1:27:00 Leaving the Corp, starting education schooling, last day in the service; 1:29:38 Done things differently in Corp; 1:31:05 Experience and inside jokes, paradigm story and being promoted; 1:36:10 Ending statement.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Middletown (N.Y.)




White - Non Hispanic

Home State

New York

War or Conflict

Operation Iraqi Freedom



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Video; MovingImage


Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Marines

Unit of Service

VMFA(AW)-225; Marine Corps Forces South; MWSS-273

Location of Service

San Diego (Calif.); Miami (Fla.); Beaufort (S.C.); Iwakuni (Japan); Korea; Thailand; Guyana; Iraq; Kuwait

Highest Rank

Staff Sergeant; SSgt

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury





Iraqi Campaign Medal; Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal; Good Conduct Medal; Sea Service Ribbon; National Defense Ribbon


Was an Intelligence Analyst.


Awarded Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal twice.

City of Birth


Country of Birth

United States


Ortiz, Andrew D.

Interview Date

Summer 6-14-2017

Location of Interview

Orlando, FL.


Stoddard, James E.; Iraq War, 2003-2011 -- Personal Narratives; Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, 2001-present -- Personal Narratives; United States. Marines

Collection Description

Contains logs, audio and video recordings of interviews with Central Florida's veterans as part of a history class project for the students at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The UCF Community Veterans History Project(CVHP) started in fall 2010. It collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public the experiences of Central Florida's veterans so that future generations will better understand the realities of conflict. It is a collaborative endeavor supported by multiple departments and offices at UCF. The veterans' histories are archived and made digitally available through the UCF library and selected materials are contributed to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.



Contributor Affiliation / Organization

RICHES; University of Central Florida


Ortiz, Andrew D.

Length of Interview

97 Minutes


Department of History, University of Central Florida




All rights are held by the respective holding institution. This material is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. For permission to reproduce and/or for copyright information contact Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries, (407) 823-2576. http://library.ucf.edu/about/departments/special-collections-university-archives/


University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections & University Archives

Contributing Project

UCF Community Veterans History Project

Document Type